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  • Signal: REAL Signal Strength, Cell Info & More


    One of the first things I installed after I jailbroke my iPhone 4 was @planetbeing's Signal app. It not only provides easy access to cell tower data and RF metrics that have been unavailable in iOS 4 due to the loss of FieldTest.app, but it gives you a way to say 'thank you' to a member of the Dev-Team. As @MuscleNerd tweeted when the app went live on Cydia, it's almost a community service to support @planetbeing in this way since "*everyone* benefits if he stays interested in baseband stuff." But it's not philanthropy to get this app, especially if you're interested in RF or if you have an unlocked iPhone and are trying to figure out which carrier gives you the best signal.

    Signal presents the location and receive signal strength from all nearby towers in a very intuitive Google Maps overlay. Your current 3G base station is shown as a red dot, with the actual real-time received signal strength shown in dBm inside the dot. Other UMTS/GSM cells are displayed as blue dots. Adjacent cells offering only EDGE service are shown in gray. If the app can't determine the signal strength, it will just show the letter E inside those dots. You may just see your primary cell when you first launch the app, but @planetbeing says to let it run for a few hours and it will cache the locations of all the bases it can find, which will display as yellow dots on your map.

    For true wireless geeks, there is an info page that shows details on all the cells that the app has been able to identify. The info page shows not only raw signal strength, but also RSCP, which is the power level once the signal has been descrambled. There's a ton of other data, such as the uplink and downlink channels, scrambling code and Ec/N0 (energy per codeword over the noise floor, basically signal-to-noise ratio). And just for fun, there's also a little "Death Grip game" you can play to see if you can kill your signal by holding your phone the wrong way.

    Since they don't accept donations, spending $5 on this well-made app is a way of saying thanks to the Dev-Team and helping support one of the most talented iPhone hackers we've got.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Signal: REAL Signal Strength, Cell Info & More started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 78 Comments
    1. joe97's Avatar
      joe97 -
      agreed, thanks planetbeing and dev team for all you do regarding jailbreak and unlock. This is a pretty slick app--
    1. Bluemoldycheeze88's Avatar
      Bluemoldycheeze88 -
      if my phone hadn't been stolen I would of have bought this app because I really wanna see how good is t-mobile coverage in my town.
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      I would download it, except I have an iPod touch
    1. ert6ic's Avatar
      ert6ic -
      gave my iphone 4 to my 15 years old son and he doesn't want to jailbreak it, otherwise i will download it for as donation
    1. TheOrioles33's Avatar
      TheOrioles33 -
      Got it. Very cool app.
    1. crisco9071's Avatar
      crisco9071 -
      This is actually a great and useful app. Thanks Planetbeing!
    1. jhilker's Avatar
      jhilker -
      Like others I cannot buy Signal since I don't have my iPhone4 yet (waiting for the "fixed" iPhone 4.1 post September 30 ;-) Right now I offer virtual thanks and when I have the phone monetary thanks.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I have an officially unlocked phone now so don't need this UltraSn0w but bought the app to support one of the most talented people I know.

      Then I found it's a fantastic app and well worth 5 bucks in it's own right. Glad I bought it.
    1. Carlito83's Avatar
      Carlito83 -
      Anyone knows what notification app the author is using? I was using Notifier/Reminder but is not working on iOS4, that looks just the same.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Knowing planetbeing he probably wrote his own...

      Why don't you ask him?
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      This is actually a really cool app even if your not unlocked
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      The gps function of the app can be pretty far off and I can't get it to move with me to another location while it's open. The only change it needs is more precise location and it'd be perfect. I love the app ad bought it as soon as it was available. Thanks PlanetBeing, awesome work!
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      The location is based on the GPS location that your phone gets. Mine currently shows me across the road from where I am.
    1. mastuul's Avatar
      mastuul -
      Quote Originally Posted by Carlito83 View Post
      Anyone knows what notification app the author is using? I was using Notifier/Reminder but is not working on iOS4, that looks just the same.
      It looks like Notifier (says Reminder on springboard) to me.
    1. cypherpunk's Avatar
      cypherpunk -
      **** apple for removing this feature in the first place. Hopefully this'll be used as evidence in court that they were trying to cover up the fact that they'd knowingly released a defective product.
    1. Carlito83's Avatar
      Carlito83 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mastuul View Post
      It looks like Notifier (says Reminder on springboard) to me.
      That's what I'm saying, it looks like Reminder/Notifier but currently this app is not working under iOS4. And he IS on iOS 4 because that compass icon is not available on 3.x
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Wish this worked on a 3GS with 3.1.2/3
    1. CMOSlabs's Avatar
      CMOSlabs -
      I missed the "Field Test" after upgrading to 4.0. Signal to the rescue, so much better. Hats off to Planetbeing! This is actually a great and useful app. Thanks!!!
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mes View Post
      Wish this worked on a 3GS with 3.1.2/3
      Why not upgrade?
    1. Mes's Avatar
      Mes -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Why not upgrade?
      Too many issues, too many incompatibilities. Some of us use this iDevice as a phone 1st and a mini-computer / gamer / social networking tool second. I'll wait until after 4.1 is released and the dust settles. I love leading edge technology, but I'm tired of the bleeding edge.